What are the core deliverables of a basic managed services offering?
Managed services offerings can be comprised of three core deliverables:
- 24/7 remote monitoring
- Service desk
- Vendor management
Managed service providers (MSPs) must invest in a remote monitoring and management (RMM) solution in order to receive alerts to situations requiring immediate attention and also to provide maximum uptime to customers. In addition, today's RMM solutions allow many mundane, daily maintenance activities to be scripted and delivered on a scheduled basis without human intervention. These activities include operating system and software application patch management, antivirus and antispam updates, disk optimization and backup monitoring. RMM allows the MSP's staff to focus on high-priority activities, provides the ability to support a larger quantity of customers and delays the need to hire more staff.
The service desk is also a key component in providing effective problem management and remediation services to end users. The service desk functions as the single point of contact for all end-user issues. Where service requests are opened, issues are identified and documented in the MSP's trouble ticketing system. The requests are then prioritized and assigned to a resource for troubleshooting and escalation as needed, and a resolution is determined. The service desk allows the MSP to resolve issues remotely for their customers about 85% of the time, tremendously reducing the need to schedule an on-site visit to customer locations. This speeds up the service request response and resolution time, increases customer satisfaction and reduces service delivery costs for the MSP.
Vendor management is the process whereby the MSP manages all interactions with the customer's vendors, offloading that responsibility from the customer and allowing the client to focus on running their own business. This service adds tremendous value to the relationship between the customer and the MSP as the customer need only open a service request for any issue affecting their infrastructure. The MSP's service desk saves the customer time and frustration from dealing with numerous vendors and also allows the MSP to proactively manage all vendor activity. The MSP works with vendors directly to either quickly resolve issues or schedule on-site vendor visits -- both have been found to tremendously improve efficiency and profitability.
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This was first published in September 2008